Saturday, June 19, 2010

Can Illinois Republicans Party Like It's 1994?

"Nothing strikes more terror into the hearts of Springfield's Democratic General Assembly majority than four digits: 1994." We were reminded of that fact recently by attorney and political analyst Russ Stewart. He says that the "terror" could happen again and cites the interesting race for the Springfield statehouse in the 19th District: In that auspiciously Republican year, with an unpopular Democratic president and a liberal congressional agenda, Republican Governor Jim Edgar was reelected by a 914,468-vote margin, with 63.9 percent of the vote, Republicans won the five other statewide offices, and the Democrats' 67-51 stranglehold on the Illinois House was eliminated. The Republicans gained 13 seats, taking control by a 64-54 majority and ousting Mike Madigan as speaker. It could be deja vu all over. "I take nothing for granted," said state Representative Joe Lyons (D-19), who was unopposed for reelection in 2006 and 2008 and who occupies an overwhelmingly Democratic district on the Northwest Side. "2010 could be another 1994," Lyons predicted. If Lyons is in danger, there's a whole world of hurt awaiting Democrats elsewhere. More at Lyons (photo, left) is opposed by Republican challenger David J. Anderson (photo, right).